What is an employee growth plan?
A growth plan is a roadmap and strategy created by the manager and the employee together to achieve career growth.
How does it help?
It aims to expand an individual’s skillset and sets out a clear path to achieve the goals. Having a growth plan creates a win-win situation for the employees and the organization.
A fast-growing organization more talent and leaders. Your current employees may have the potential or aspirations to learn and grow, so having a career growth plan helps you save time recruiting and help your employees grow and fill the gap.
How to create a growth plan?
The following are the five steps that I think are essential for creating an employee growth plan.
1. Business goals:
Organizational goals are the starting point for creating an employee growth plan. Creating short, mid, and long-term business goals helps you identify the skill set that is necessary to achieve those goals. As a manager, you’ll need to work with senior leadership to understand the company’s goals.
2. Identify the skill sets:
Once you have captured the business goals, you must identify the roles, skills, and knowledge necessary to support them. You may have to create new roles that aren’t part of your existing hierarchy.
E.g. If you are a startup, you may have a small team with a flat hierarchy where all engineers report to one leader. To scale things up, you may need to bring in a product manager to identify the problem and solution. To handle the people and execution part, you may also need an engineering manager.
Next, determine which skill sets are needed for specific roles. Using a skill gap analysis, you can identify what abilities you have versus what you lack.
From a knowledge standpoint, you’ll have to identify if your employees should possess breadth (generalist) and/or depth (expert) of knowledge.
3. Understand employee aspirations:
Employees have career aspirations. They may already know what it takes to achieve their goals or may not know where to start. A manager needs to understand what their aspirations are. This will help with employee engagement which will eventually lead to retention. One-on-ones are a helpful way to learn about a team member’s ambitions.
4. Map Employee aspirations with company goals:
After learning about employees’ goals, the next step is to see whether those goals line up with those of the organization. One of the three possibilities listed below would be the result of the mapping procedure.
- Meet cute
- Potential gap
- Unaligned Aspiration
Meet cute state:
What’s meet-cute? I first heard this term from the film The Holiday, in a scene where the movie characters Arthur (Eli Wallach) explains to Iris (Kate Winslet).
“Say a man and a woman both need something to sleep in and both go to the same men’s pajama department. The man says to the salesman, “I just need bottoms,” and the woman says, “I just need a top.” They look at each other and that’s the ‘meet cute.” — from the movie, The Holiday.
If you prefer an Indianised version of the meet-cute, here’s a clip for you.
Ok, back to business. When an employee’s aspiration aligns with company goals, that’s a win-win situation for the employees and the company. Hence, referring to it as a meet-cute state. I don’t know if that’s a professional way to call it, but I’m sticking with it.
I created these three representations to help you understand the current state and align employee’s aspiration, potential and plan.
Potential Gap — Plan for training: A manager needs to work with an associate and plan to upskill employees with aspirations but limited potential. Upskill can be done by the company sponsoring internal, and external training programs. Employees can self-learn if they know what needs to be done to gain the necessary knowledge.
Unaligned aspirations — Motivate: Individuals with no aspirations or whose aspirations do not align with the company’s goals need to motivate a manager to tune them into the expectations of the company.
Meet cute — Promote: Employees who have aspirations that align with the company goals and have the potential can be immediately given a promotion or responsibility to take things forward.
5. Create a roadmap:
Once the employee aspiration and business goals are in alignment, we should be good to create a career growth plan.
A roadmap needs to have clear steps toward career growth. It should be measurable, so you and the employee can track progression.
Overall, the above-mentioned 5 steps will help the employee grow and benefit both the company and the employee.